Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats


*E3£PLE OF B1LADEYA,                                              203
mediation is provided for the pilgrims and resident priests, Ko definite charge
is levied on the former, but they are expected to make a voluntary donation
according to their means* Each court, or kunjt as it is called, bears the name
of its founder as follows :—1st, the Knnj of Rashk Lai of Agra and Lakh&ao,
1817 A.D.; 2nd3 of BacMmra|? Baniya, of EaUias, 1825 ; 3rd, of ]^aval Earan,
Baaiya? of Agra, 1868 ; 4th, of BMia Sen and Hulas Rai5 Banivas,
1828 ; 5thj of Das Mai, Ehattri, of Agra? 1801; Btia. of Bhattacharya
1794 ; 7th of Gopai, Brahman, of Jaypnr; 8th of GMman Lal5 of Mathura,
1778 ; 9th, of Sada Earn, Ehattri, of Agra, 1763 ; lOSi, of Chniina, Halwai, of
Bharat-piir, 1808 ; and llth, of Pikan Chand, Fachanri, of JSIaha'-baa, 1801.
Th& actual temple^ "built by Seth Syfaa Das, of Delhi, towards the end of last
century, stands at the Back of one of the inner courts^ and on each of its three
disengaged sides has an arcade of three "bays with broad flanking piers. On
each of these three sides a door gives access to the celia, "which Is surmounted
by a squat pyramidal tower. In addition to the principal %are, Baladera,
who is generally very ricMy dressed and "bedizened -with jewels, it contains another
life-sized statue, supposed to represent Ms spouse HevatL Apparently she was am
after-thought, as she is pat away in a corner^ off the dais. In an adjoining court
is shown the small vaulted chamber which served the God as a residence for the
first century after Ms epiphany* Near the tank is a skrine dedicated by BiMri
Lalj Boluaj of Hfmsan, ia 1803? to the honour of tibe god Harideva? and two
stone cMoltm ia memory of the FandaSj Harideva and Jagannath.
Two annual melas are held at Baladeva^ "fee one BiiMon siidi 6th (commonly
caled Deo Cl&th), iJie oclier on the full jnoom of Agalm ; but there is probably
not a single day ia the course of the whole year ia which the temple courts are
not occupied by at least as inasy as a hundred pilgrims^ who come from all parts
of XortBem India* The cost of the religions ceremonial cannot be much, but a
charitable dole of an ana apiece is given to every applicant; and as the Plbaeies
with their families now number "between 300 and 400 persons., the annual
cost o£ their maintenance must Ibe very considerable. After reasonable deduc-
tions on iiiese three heads—rfj., temple expenses, charity, and maintenance of
the priests,, the "balance of profits is calculated at over Rs« 30^000. Tiiere is
ordinarily a division among the shareholders at the end of every three montliSy
when they make an aEotment into twelve equal portions^ that being the num-
ber of the principal sub-divisions of tie clan^ and then each sub-division mates a
separate distribution among its own members. The votive offerings ia <3ie
vast majority of cases are individually of very trifling amount ; but even so,
their collective value is not altogether to be despised. Thmy poorer pEgrimSj in
74